NOW again calls on women to speak up
Following today’s vicious attack on 36-year-old Marva Ward, the National Organisation of Women (NOW) has issued a fresh appeal to women to speak out against domestic violence.
NOW President Marilyn Rice-Bowen has specifically called on them “to seek help early and to treat every threat as serious”, while condemning the cutlass attack, which has left Ward warded at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) with multiple cutlass wounds and in serious condition.
“It has upset us all very much because violence at any time takes a toll on you mentally and we do hope that the lady survives,” the NOW President said, noting it was the second time this year a woman had fallen victim to such an attack.
“We do hope that she pulls through and then [we will] to be able to meet with her and meet with her family to see what other assistance that we can render,” Rice-Bowen told Barbados TODAY.
Police say the attacker, who was known to the victim, is currently in their custody.
While not releasing his full identity, lawmen say the St Michael man, who is in his 30’s, was apprehended a short distance away from the scene of the incident, which occurred around 7 a.m. at the back of Sky Mall in Haggatt Hall, St Michael.
Maintaining that it was one incident too many, the NOW President also used the opportunity to urge women to “speak out” and not to suffer in silence.
“There is always someone willing to listen,” she said.
“They [domestic abuse victims] can call the crisis hotline. Somebody is always there to talk you through the situation. If they feel that their lives are threatened by all means, don’t even hesitate, go straight to the police station and don’t leave until they get a solution.
“The major thing is to treat every threat seriously,” she stressed.
Back in August, 27-year-old Margaret Christopher was viciously attacked by her former companion as she and her six-year-old son disembarked from a bus at Parris Hill, St Joseph after weeks of harassment, threats and stalking.
Christopher, a resident of Halls Road, St Michael was slashed across her throat and from ear to mouth.
Tonight, as she addressed a gathering in the Oistins Bay Garden, following a walk against the Crimes of Silence to end the 2014 16 Days of Activism, Rice-Bowen reminded women that love and “licks” don’t mix.
She noted that once “licks” were introduced to a relationship, the person being abused should exit immediately.
“There is this old feeling that if you don’t hit me you don’t love me and this morning when we were doing some canvassing, a man said, ‘but the women say if you don’t lick me you don’t love me’. We will continue to focus on ways to assisting victims and transforming their lives,” she said.